France v Ireland, Six Nations
Paris clash falls victim to weather
February 11, 2012
Referee Dave Pearson and Ireland coach Declan Kidney inspect the Stade de France pitch © PA Photos
The Six Nations clash between France and Ireland in Paris on Saturday night was called off due to the surface at the Stade de France being deemed unplayable.
The pitch passed an initial inspection by referee Dave Pearson, only for the official to reverse his decision 10 minutes before the scheduled 2000 GMT kick off time. Paris has been gripped by sub-zero temperatures for several days with the temperatures at the Stade de France expected to plummet to minus eight by half-time. However, the decision was greeted with a chorus of boos when it was announced to a near-full stadium.
Six Nations officials have confirmed that the re-match will be staged during one of the tournament's break weekends, either February 18 and 19 or March 3 and 4, with Ireland head coach Declan Kidney expecting a decision to be made in the coming days.
"Probably you would imagine sometime on Monday," the former Munster boss said. "It'll be up to the Six Nations officials outside [to decide the date for the rearranged fixture]. I know they were on the phone already outside. I'm sure they're working on it as we speak."
Asked on BBC2 how his players had reacted to the cancellation, Kidney said: "You're joking me. How do you [think when they] get that pumped up for a game [only to then have it called off]? International rugby or any professional rugby isn't something whereby you just arrive and you go out for an old friendly jog-around. But they're great lads and they'll settle down. There's a good bit of banter in the dressing room at the moment."
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